Should I date non-Catholic women?


#1

I have almost always dated Catholic women. I’ve gone on maybe only one date with anyone who’s not Catholic. Recently, my mom, who’s not Catholic or Christian, made the suggestion that I date non-Catholic, or even non-Christian, women. She said that I’m limiting myself by not dating outside the Catholic circle. I tend to disagree with her. The Catholic faith is something that’s very important to me, and I would want to share it with my future spouse. What do you think? Do you think that I’m limiting myself by dating only Catholic women? Do you think God would want me to give non-Catholic women a chance?


#2

well, im not catholic in anyway, but all i can say is see where the cards land. if you end up really liking, or loving a non-catholic girl, go for it. I'm not saying it'll always work persay, but theres nothing wrong with giving it a shot and trying. You'll never know till you try it.


#3

There are so many variables in this situation that it would be difficult to answer you definitively, but I believe that insisting on dating only Catholic women will indeed narrow your prospective partners. In my personal experience, the men I've dated who considered themselves Catholic - some even attended my home parish! - were only nominal Catholics, who knew little of the Church's teaching on anything, and really did not live out their faith (several relationships ended when I insisted on proceeding chastely). Dating these "Catholics" was comparable to dating men with essentially no faith formation or religious affiliation whatsoever, and, were I to apply this to your situation - should you date a nominal Catholic woman with no faith life of her own - I cannot imagine that it would be of any benefit to you in your search for a spouse whose faith complements your own.

So, you already seem to know what you would not compromise on in a relationship, and it's great that you're considering your dating choices with marriage in mind - but I would not automatically rule out dating a woman who seems a promising potential partner just because she is not Catholic. You may well have a great relationship with a woman who is unsure or lapsed in her faith, completely without faith, or who declares herself to be of another religion, but does not actually practice - and perhaps your Catholic lifestyle will draw her to the truth of the Church. (If you lurk around these boards, I think you'll see that many contributors converted to/returned to Catholicism in conjunction with a relationship's progression, and are now firmly rooted in the faith.) :thumbsup:

I guess, too, that how you find out she's Catholic could be an integral part of your decision to ask for a date. Did you meet her at Adoration or a Theology of the Body meeting (yes, they have those for young adults in my diocese!), or does she just identify herself as a Catholic once you've met her in another scenario? Any woman you meet while you're out enriching your own faith, more than likely possesses some of the attributes you seek, and of course as I said, how you live out your own faith may well influence her in a positive way.


#4

I'll be honest, my relationship with my non-Catholic fiancee is crumbling. I doubt whether or not any future children of ours will be raised Catholic. Remember, when dating, you are discerning marriage with that person, and the responsibilities of a Catholic husband or wife includes the rearing of their children in the Faith. Thus, I would advise extreme caution when thinking about and actually dating a non-Catholic. It is very possible that such a relationship can work, but there are many risks.


#5

NO.

With all the problems in society today, it is a risky choice. My wife and I went through some difficult times together, and it was only our Catholic Faith that kept us afloat.

Marriage is a vocation, whose ultimate purpose is to get each other to heaven. How will a non-catholic, or non Christian partner do that?. Have you prayed on this matter?

Good luck


#6

Even dating Catholic women can be “problematical” because so few Catholics, in general, know and/or understand the Catholic Faith.

As another poster stated, dating is the process of discerning if that person would be a good marriage partner. Even dating a Catholic should have an element of Catholic living included … Mass, for example. Or doing some Catholic studying/research together. Exploring the Catechism of the Catholic Church together. Attending a seminar together. Going to a Catholic event / prayer service together. Making pilgrimages to Catholic sites together. Visiting a Catholic bookstore together. Exploring a Catholic Web site together.


#7

Totally agree. Great advice


#8

I’m a bit of a stereotypical, bleeding-heart ecumenist, but I tend to agree with you here.

From what you say you’re dating for marriage. If you are, then you’re right, common faith will be one thing to make your marriage stronger and one less thing to divide you and your wife.

Nonetheless, if it’s not the ultiamte dealbreaker for you, remain open to the possibility of marrying a non-Christian, certainly a non-Catholic. One never knows.


#9

In the best case scenario for a Catholic who is serious about growing spiritually in his faith, it is wise to seek a partner who feels the same way about the Catholic faith.

Now, it is true that there are many who are baptized Catholic and are not in the same place spiritually that another Catholic is. If they have misunderstandings about the faith and stubbornly cling to them in defiance of the authentic teachings, then that is problematic…just as problematic as marrying a Christian who is sincere, but not willing to pass on the Catholic faith in all its beauty to their children. I do understand that it can work in some situations, but I believe that is rare.

A practicing Catholic can find a spouse who is like-minded by attending gatherings in a parish that brings young adults together for spiritual enrichment. More parishes need to be involved in presenting such opportunities to young adults. Usually these gatherings have to be sought in other parishes who are known to provide such opportunities. There is a need for more of them.


#10

[quote="DATING_101, post:1, topic:242134"]
I have almost always dated Catholic women. I've gone on maybe only one date with anyone who's not Catholic. Recently, my mom, who's not Catholic or Christian, made the suggestion that I date non-Catholic, or even non-Christian, women. She said that I'm limiting myself by not dating outside the Catholic circle. I tend to disagree with her. The Catholic faith is something that's very important to me, and I would want to share it with my future spouse. What do you think? Do you think that I'm limiting myself by dating only Catholic women? Do you think God would want me to give non-Catholic women a chance?

[/quote]

This is something I struggled with. The biggest warning I can give you is the immoral issues of pre-marital sex and contraception. Practicing Catholics accept these teachings of the Church, and the vast majority of the rest of our society do not. Are you prepared for that struggle with a non-Catholic or non-Christian woman? It can be a very tempting occasion of sin to be with a woman who does not respect these beliefs. She may eventually use arguments like "if you really love me" or present the "try before you buy" approach to convince you of her beliefs.


#11

If you are serious about your faith then the answer is “No”.
Should the relationship become serious and you start to talk marriage, what then, would you marry a non Catholic? Unless of course you aim to have her converted.:slight_smile:


#12

I have to say that anything can happen. My husband was an agnostic when I met him, 2 years later he was baptized in the lutheran church, then 2 years after that he joined RCIA to become a catholic, and now he's looking into the orthodox priesthood (married, of course). I would love to say that I was an inspiration to him but he decided to do all this without one nudge from me. You just never know how things will turn out, or what God has planned for the special person in your life!


#13

No. Start out with a foundation built on the solid rock of the Catholic Church.

I can tell you for 100% sure that if my husband had not been a Catholic (a very lapsed one, and now a non-believer) we’d already be divorced. He at least is not antagonistic toward the Church and has wanted our sons to believe he’s still Catholic, which means they don’t realize their dad is a Catholic by baptism only. He has not interfered in their sacraments and has paid for them to go to Catholic schools. He goes to Mass most of the time (not on Ash Wed. or Good Friday though) although he has critiqued the ritual in detail a lot. See, even that is detrimental, and he IS technically a Catholic!

Also, with only one leg of the stool being Catholic (me) I have felt unsupported and unsure of just how Catholic I can be in the home. I never wanted to be the spiritual head of the household in the first place and kept trying to place him in that position but he wouldn’t cooperate! So there is a gap in my son’s home applications…We don’t pray except at meals, no Bible reading, no devotions, no teaching from their dad about relying on God in our daily lives, etc. I know that one day I will have to account for my lack of courage in that area. It’s another source of regret. No need to do that to yourself, give yourself all 3 legs of the stool. Or, as I have seen in many books, think of it as a triangle, with you and your spouse at the bottom points and God at the top. You grow closer together by coming closer to God.

Stuff happens, and you’ll need that foundation to help you both survive the vicissitudes of life, and the issue of how to teach the children becomes HUGE once you have them. Especially since the MOM can really have a conversion once kids come into the picture (it happened to me). It’s like a common language, where marrying a Protestant would be like speaking the same basic language (belief in a triune all powerful God) but having a different dialect. And marrying a non-Christian would mean having totally different languages.

Your faith is the one area you do not want to compromise on. Of course you also have to be sure she isn’t just a C&E Catholic, but that’s pretty easy to spot.


#14

[quote="ZDHayden, post:4, topic:242134"]
I'll be honest, my relationship with my non-Catholic fiancee is crumbling. I doubt whether or not any future children of ours will be raised Catholic. Remember, when dating, you are discerning marriage with that person, and the responsibilities of a Catholic husband or wife includes the rearing of their children in the Faith. Thus, I would advise extreme caution when thinking about and actually dating a non-Catholic. It is very possible that such a relationship can work, but there are many risks.

[/quote]

I am sorry to read this, but grateful that you have not yet married. You would be in a lot more pain if that had already happened, trust me.

I just do not see how a devout Catholic can entertain marrying with a Protestant or non-Christian. It is a total deal-buster IMO, from where I stand. And I am 100% sure that if my husband had known that I would revert after our first son was born, he wouldn't have married me either. :(


#15

[quote="DATING_101, post:1, topic:242134"]
Recently, my mom, who's not Catholic or Christian, made the suggestion that I date non-Catholic, or even non-Christian, women.

[/quote]

Your mother gave you some bad advice.

[quote="DATING_101, post:1, topic:242134"]
She said that I'm limiting myself by not dating outside the Catholic circle.

[/quote]

Why don't you date yourself some smokers, drug users, and a mortocycle gang member while you are at it? See what mom thinks of that! :)

Of course you are limiting yourself. You are limiting yourself to women you would want to marry. The purpose of dating is discerning marriage. Therefore, to limit yourself to the type of women with the qualities that you want in a wife is **prudent **and mature.

[quote="DATING_101, post:1, topic:242134"]
I tend to disagree with her. The Catholic faith is something that's very important to me, and I would want to share it with my future spouse. What do you think? Do you think that I'm limiting myself by dating only Catholic women? Do you think God would want me to give non-Catholic women a chance?

[/quote]

I think you are on the right track and will get lots of unsolicited and wrongheaded advice in your adult years. You will simply have to smile, say "thanks" and move on.


#16

[quote="ZDHayden, post:4, topic:242134"]
I'll be honest, my relationship with my non-Catholic fiancee is crumbling. I doubt whether or not any future children of ours will be raised Catholic. Remember, when dating, you are discerning marriage with that person, and the responsibilities of a Catholic husband or wife includes the rearing of their children in the Faith. Thus, I would advise extreme caution when thinking about and actually dating a non-Catholic. It is very possible that such a relationship can work, but there are many risks.

[/quote]

You are not yet married. You should not enter into marriage if your relationship is 'already crumbling' at the engagement stage.


#17

Wow, I have to say I'm really surprised by all the negative responses on this thread. If someone is non-catholic, but still a good person who may even have some interest in the catholic church, I can't see why persuing a relationship with that person is a bad thing. I've already shared the story about my husband and I. My mom is catholic and when she married my dad he was a non-practicing lutheran. Because he wasn't really into his faith, he easily agreed to raise us kids catholic when the church approached him about it (my mom wanted them to be married in her catholic church). He stayed a lutheran for about 23 years into the marriage and only when I was 13 or so did he enter RCIA and became a catholic (again, without anyone in the family nudging him to do so). Now, he is a very active member of the church. He is a sacristin of the mass every sunday, on the parish council, and sponsers candidates in rcia.

My point is, it seems a bit snobby to just stick your nose up at someone who you could possibly spend the rest of your life with just because they aren't catholic. Now should you date a satan-worshipper? Uh, no I don't think that's a great idea. But turning your back on a potential mate seems very wrong. You never know down the road how they will be affected by your example in the faith. Now I'm sure things don't always work out like they happened to in my family, but how many couples who are both catholic have had terrible relationships too? Just because husband and wife are both catholic is NOT a guarentee that they will be together forever.


#18

[quote="lo_amo87, post:17, topic:242134"]
Wow, I have to say I'm really surprised by all the negative responses on this thread. If someone is non-catholic, but still a good person who may even have some interest in the catholic church, I can't see why persuing a relationship with that person is a bad thing. I've already shared the story about my husband and I.

[/quote]

Anecdotal examples are nice, but are not something one should emulate as a general rule or base your own relationship on.

The Church prohibits marriages between Catholics and non-Catholics for a reason. One must receive permission (baptized) or a dispensation (non-baptized) in order to do so.

It is very imprudent to missionary date-- date in hopes of someone changing and becoming Catholic.

A non-Catholic already on the journey to the Catholic faith through RCIA might be a different story. But a non-Catholic or non-Christian in general is not a prudent choice.

[quote="lo_amo87, post:17, topic:242134"]

My point is, it seems a bit snobby to just stick your nose up at someone who you could possibly spend the rest of your life with just because they aren't catholic.

[/quote]

Everyone has their own list of must-have and deal-breakers. There is nothing "snobby" about knowing one's requirements for a spouse and sticking to them.

My no-date list smokers, non-Catholics, and a variety of other critiera. Was I being a snob towards smokers? No, I was simply eliminating them from people that I would consider dating.

Non-Catholics, same thing. I did not want someone who would simply "not" interfere with my faith or that of children. I wanted an active, equal partner with whom I prayed regularly, attended Mass, and shared deep discussions of the faith. I did not want religious division in my own household. If that's snobbish then I stand convicted. And I don't really care if that is the label someone puts on it.

[quote="lo_amo87, post:17, topic:242134"]
Now should you date a satan-worshipper? Uh, no I don't think that's a great idea. But turning your back on a potential mate seems very wrong.

[/quote]

So you are willing to date high school drop outs, drug users, gang members, and even satan worshippers in the name of not turning your back on a potential mate?

[quote="lo_amo87, post:17, topic:242134"]
Just because husband and wife are both catholic is NOT a guarentee that they will be together forever.

[/quote]

No one said a Catholic had an automatic pass. That is merely a starting point. My deal-breaker list included non-practicing and cafeteria catholics, those who rejected Church teaching on contraception, those living the bar scene, etc. My must have list included men who practiced their faith, did bible study, were leaders in the Church.


#19

[quote="lo_amo87, post:17, topic:242134"]
Wow, I have to say I'm really surprised by all the negative responses on this thread. If someone is non-catholic, but still a good person who may even have some interest in the catholic church, I can't see why persuing a relationship with that person is a bad thing. I've already shared the story about my husband and I. My mom is catholic and when she married my dad he was a non-practicing lutheran. Because he wasn't really into his faith, he easily agreed to raise us kids catholic when the church approached him about it (my mom wanted them to be married in her catholic church). He stayed a lutheran for about 23 years into the marriage and only when I was 13 or so did he enter RCIA and became a catholic (again, without anyone in the family nudging him to do so). Now, he is a very active member of the church. He is a sacristin of the mass every sunday, on the parish council, and sponsers candidates in rcia.

My point is, it seems a bit snobby to just stick your nose up at someone who you could possibly spend the rest of your life with just because they aren't catholic. Now should you date a satan-worshipper? Uh, no I don't think that's a great idea. But turning your back on a potential mate seems very wrong. You never know down the road how they will be affected by your example in the faith. Now I'm sure things don't always work out like they happened to in my family, but how many couples who are both catholic have had terrible relationships too?** Just because husband and wife are both catholic is NOT a guarentee that they will be together forever**.

[/quote]

This is, of course, very true. And it is also true that one's intended can convert. And true that one can live one's faith in a divided household. But it weakens the foundation. Without entering your family into the statistics, it is IN GENERAL a good filter to date people of your own faith before considering others outside the faith.

Obviously, people who are just generic Christians have a much larger pool to draw from. We as Catholics are not few in number necessarily, but somehow that's the perception. I think it's just the idea that wanting to marry another Catholic is somehow being bigoted against other Christians.

I watch the show, "19 Kids and Counting." The Duggars are a very fundamentalist Christian family. They don't use birth control and the kids have all been home schooled. Josh, their oldest son, did not go looking for a wife outside of the general community that they know. His wife had been home schooled and they met at a home school convention. Even within the home schooling community, he still had to exclude a lot of potential candidates that were not as devout as his family is, and who would not have understood nor supported the lifestyle he wanted to live. There is nothing wrong with being picky!

:)


#20

Something important to remember is that no one mortal can meet all your standards. It's just not possible. If you set stupidly high standards, don't wonder why your single. I'm not saying your standards are high, just giving a general warning.


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